The NPCA Leadership Academy provides precast professionals another opportunity to improve their workplace and the precast industry.
Confidence, honesty and focus are critical qualities for great leadership, but leaders also need to recognize and understand their own emotions before successfully directing others. This is defined as “emotional intelligence,” and it’s the foundation of the NPCA Leadership Academy, National Precast Concrete Association’s newest education program. The program creates a unique opportunity for employers of NPCA member companies to advance their careers and is a logical next step after Precast University in developing leaders within the precast concrete industry.
The program is based on the teachings of Jeff Patnaude of The Patnaude Group and dives into the message that managers and leaders need to first manage the business of themselves before coaching and developing others. Instructor Mike Renquist of The Patnaude Group said the Leadership NPCA program offers precast concrete professionals basic foundational tools for leadership and management and inspirational and aspirational direction for self-development.
“The group extends themselves by composing after reflection a 500-word values and purpose statement in their respective organizations as they are challenged to seek significant change,” he said. “And this statement follows them throughout the program as they address how they are going to make that change happen.”
The inaugural Leadership NPCA class is currently underway following a kick off meeting at The Precast Show 2017 in Cleveland. The group attended one bootcamp in Santa Fe, N.M., already and will complete another in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It will also meet at the 52nd Annual Convention in Atlanta.
Eric Lasko, quality control manager at Monarch Concrete Products Corp. in Allentown, Pa., said the first bootcamp in Santa Fe was an amazing experience and opened his eyes to his individual leadership personality traits.
“The key thing that I got out of the trip was more self-awareness of what I am and that was through a personal identification layout that we completed,” he said. “It was also great to know my peers and their abilities and goals as well. We actually all have the same goal to improve our industry.”
Along with in-person meetings, the class is split into triads. Each triad has monthly phone calls to reflect and talk about personal or workplace challenges.
“What they end up doing in this triad is building life-long relationships,” Renquist said. “I know some triads that are still meeting even long after the program finished.”
Participants must have a minimum of three years of continuous employment within the precast industry to be considered. The program is open to everyone from those who have been in the industry for 20 years to those who just entered a leadership role. No matter their experience level, they all benefit from exposure to the program’s dynamics, briefings, exercises and growth opportunities.
“It’s amazing to see the wonderful relationships that grow even though there may be differences in age, gender and experience,” Renquist said.
The application period for the 2018 Leadership NPCA class will open this fall. For more information about Leadership NPCA and the NPCA Leadership Academy, visit precast.org/npca-leadership-academy.
Leadership NPCA would not be possible without the financial support of the NPCA and NPCA Foundation Boards.